- The Senior Thesis Program in Psychology is an opportunity for students with strong academic records to gain advanced level experience in conducting independent, empirical research under the supervision of two full-time faculty advisors. Honors theses are not required for all psychology majors.
- Students must have an overall GPA of 3.5 (with a minimum of 32 credit hours), a psychology GPA of 3.5 (excluding PSY299 and PSY499), and have taken PSY100, PSY200, PSY300 and at least two courses at the 300-level or above. Students are also strongly encouraged to take PSY311: Statistics II.
Honors Thesis Schedule
- Students begin their honors thesis in their junior year by securing a primary and secondary advisor and submitting a preliminary research proposal by April 15 (or November 15 for students graduating in December). If this proposal is accepted by the department, the student will register for PSY499T: pre-thesis Independent Research in the first semester of their senior year.
- Students submit a full thesis proposal (with introduction, methods, and plan for data analysis) on the first day of class their first semester of senior year. Students are also expected to submit a full research application to the HSRC in that same month.
- A progress report detailing the research completed during the first semester of the project must be submitted by December 10 (April 20 for December graduates). Based on faculty members’ evaluation of the student’s performance to date, the faculty will determine whether the student should be advanced to senior thesis candidacy. If they are advanced, students will register for PSY490 Senior Thesis for their final semester.
- The completed thesis is presented in both oral and written form to the Psychology Department faculty. A final draft of the senior thesis is submitted to the department prior to the oral presentation, which is scheduled in the first week of April (third week of November for December graduates). Critiques provided by faculty during the oral presentation should be incorporated into the thesis. The final honors thesis is due by the end of the final exam period in the second semester of the student’s senior year. The faculty will evaluate the oral report along with the final thesis. If both the thesis and the oral presentation are judged to reflect a high standard of excellence, the student will be awarded Honors in Psychology.
Examples of recent honors theses include:
- The Relationship between Promotive Factors and Multiple Domains of Resilience in Adolescents
- Numerical Estimation Development in Children: In Support of the Logarithmic-to-Linear Shift Hypothesis